Govt urged to ensure uninterrupted power supply to cold storages

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Category : Munshiganj Related

Bumper production of potatoes
Bangladesh Cold Storage Association has urged the government to ensure uninterrupted power supply to country’s 350 cold storages for the next three months in view of a bumper production of potatoes, said a release Saturday.

Potato production is expected to be as high as ten million tonnes this year against eight million tonnes a year ago. Of this amount, cold storages will be able to store 3.6 million tonnes only. Most of the production has been harvested by this time.

“Farmers this year are already deprived of proper price of potato,” Maj (rtd) Jashim Uddin, chairman of Bangladesh Cold Storage Association, told the FE Saturday.

He said the most alarming thing is that there is a stock of 0.8 million tonnes of seed potato. If these are damaged the cultivation of potato will be affected next year.

The process of preserving potatoes, seed potatoes and other agricultural products has started since the last week of February this year, the release added.

“All these products are at risk of rotting due to low voltage and interruption in power supply causing financial loss to farmers. There is a load-shedding of two hours after every one hour,” Mr Jashim said.

The Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources has, however, been taking special measures to supply additional power to most of the cold storages of the country including those in Munshiganj over the last several years, the association leader said.

“Last year a demand for an additional 30 megawatt of power for the cold storages in Munshiganj was placed before the government and the government provided 15 megawatt on special arrangement,” said Mr Jashim.

He said special arrangement must be made to ensure an uninterrupted supply of power for at least five hours.

“Cold storage is an agro-based industry where power is an essential thing. If the products there get damaged due to low voltage and interruption of power supply, the farmers, investment banks and cold storage owners will be equally affected,” he said.

thefinancialexpress

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